Growing Our Family Part One: The Heart Softening

I began writing these posts November 2012. They share the difficult journey we traveled when we wanted to have a baby. 

I’ve always wanted to have kids, but never knew how to make the jump from being a "table for two" to “table for two, plus a high chair.”

On February 11, 2011, I sat at a restaurant across from my friend Jackie. She was 7 months pregnant at the time. With tears welling up in my eyes, I asked her to pray that God would change my heart about making the leap to become a parent.

Have you ever shared the negative aspects of your day to a friend to get those feelings out? You know what I’m talking about. I’ve been the listener in these conversations where my friend has told me about the challenges she’s having with her kids, her job, maybe even her husband. She doesn’t mean to discourage me from wanting to be a mom, but little does she know, what she’s saying is negative advertising for motherhood.

When someone describes a particularly challenging or negative experience, it makes me want to run the other way. I take a mental note; NEVER go that direction. That’s what was happening with me when my friends would talk about their parenting experiences.  

I’ve come to realize that it’s a marathon. There are times that are awesome. You get that runner’s high (although I know nothing about that, since I never run!)  There are times that you want to quit, but your experience teaches you to keep going. Then when you cross that finish line, there is a huge victory.

As humans, we have a tendency to share negative feelings. But what I need to hear from my mom-friends is all of the wonderful things about being a mom. The hugs you get in the middle of the night, the unconditional love; the opportunity to shape future leaders and the next generation. I’d love to hear more about these types of things. I am already very well acquainted with how much my life will change when we have a baby.

Back to that conversation with Jackie. She said she would pray for me and I know she did. Over the summer, we spent many hours together. She modeled how having a baby changed your life…for the better. Her marriage thrived, her mothering thrived; all the while a softening was occurring with me.

Defining Normal

Journal Entry: February 4, 2013 

"It's a normal night. I got home from work and asked Anthony if we could go for a walk. I noticed a package from Amazon sitting on the table. I didn't remember ordering anything, but, knowing me, that doesn't mean I didn't. I opened the package and found an item wrapped. It was the book, Jesus Calling, from my cousin Beth!

Anthony and I have begun to really enjoy walking together. It gives us a chance to talk without as many interruptions. I admit, we don't have as many interruptions as some people, but walking outdoors helps us focus on the conversation we are engaging in. We walked all the way to our friend Kelli's house. She gave us some water and we walked back home.

When we got home from the walk, I made dinner. Farro with Chicken Sausage & Apples. It was even better this time. We cleaned up the kitchen, got our coffee ready for tomorrow morning, and got my lunch ready for work tomorrow. We then folded our laundry.

Sitting down, I called my cousin to say thank you. Then I Facetimed my sister, Heidi, who told me about a doctor's appointment with Olivia."

Today: December 16, 2013

I'm sitting in my pajamas eating a huge bowl of oatmeal. It's 11:00 am and I don't have anywhere to go. Not because I don't want to go anywhere, but because we have one car and Anthony took it to work. I found this old post from February and thought it would be interesting to just write today and see the differences.

In February, I was worried we would never get pregnant. We had yet to visit North Carolina for the first time, but had already purchased our plane tickets to take the trip out here. We hadn't gone up to Portland for the second time in six months to meet the team of people that we would move to Raleigh with to help start this church. We hadn't started packing up our house, saying goodbye to everything that was normal to embrace a season of nothing being normal. Well, relatively nothing being normal. 

Normal is still being married to Anthony. Talking about the future. Dreaming about what our life will look like with the addition of our son any day. Normal in February was 3 day-shift workdays at the hospital for Anthony and a 5 day work week for me at the Department of Education. We were used to getting off around the same time each day, even though they were at different hours for both of us. With a few hours of quiet before Anthony got home from work, I would blog, clean the kitchen, make dinner, go grocery shopping, walk on the treadmill in our garage or a number of other things. Almost all of these activities would be done in silence. I would stop by Jackie's house to see her and talk about our life. I would visit with our wonderful neighbor, Stacey. I would also talk with Heidi about her experiences being a mom for the first time. 

Now, normal is Facetiming Jackie in the few moments she has free (she has 3 little ones under 2 1/2 now), discussing knitting problems with Heidi, phoning my Grandma to tell her we're thinking of her, love her, and are praying for her. It's long conversations with social services to check on application statuses. It's pouring over Instagram and thinking fondly of our family and friends. Trying not to be too sad that I'm not in the picture or around for when the picture was taken. It's discussing when my parents will come to visit, before the baby's born, during, or after. Arranging baby clothes, baby stuff, baby furniture. Scouring blogs to find out what I should pack in our "Go-bag." Texting Shannon to find out do I really need _____ baby item (she knows, she has 5 sweet children). 

Normal is sending pictures to my close friends of my stomach and stretch marks and saying... "What the heck?!? Will this go away?" It's a long conversation over the phone with my Aunt Becky to find out how she's doing, the kids are doing, and for her to say, "Keep going. We love you and are here for you." It's answering for the hundredth time, "We don't know if or when we'll every move back to Sacramento. We don't know what we're doing tomorrow."

It's thinking about when the baby will come. Will I actually know when I'm in labor or will I be surprised? It's having friends over for dinner when we don't have a table and trying not to apologize about the lack of furniture. It's being hospitable and generous. It's being ok with things that are uncomfortable. It's learning that life isn't what I planned and accepting that God has not forgotten us. No matter how we feel about it. 

He is Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting God, the Mighty Counselor, and the Great Comforter. He is familiar with pain, He is with us, He is probably even carrying us. It is remembering that Christmas isn't a failure if there are no presents under the tree. Or there's no money to buy gifts for family and friends. It's about the gift that we were given. Peace. God being with us. God being for us. God working through us. God using the mundane to capture my heart and say, Be Still and Know

Normal is all of these things and more. And what's so shocking is that it's in the normal, everyday life, that the Holy Spirit will speak and say: 

Do not worry about tomorrow. I take care of birds and grass. You are my daughter. How can I not take care of you? Just as you are making preparations to take care of your son, that's what I, the perfect parent, do for you. You are loved. You can never be forgotten. You are my child. Rest in me. My yoke is easy. My burden is light. I will teach you what that really means.

Is your normal any different today than it was in February?

Joining Heather for Just Write Tuesday

A Change of Heart

Trying to celebrate the small things has been the anthem of the past six months of my life. Many, many things have seemingly gone wrong since we moved to Raleigh. We didn't get jobs in the time we had hoped. We have burned through almost all of our savings. We both accepted non-career jobs to bring in money. In the midst of all of this, we are still rejoicing about being pregnant. 

You see, 2 years ago, we felt we should stop procrastinating and trying to prevent expanding our family (as if we actually had any control over that). Things did not go as we anticipated. We didn't get pregnant until April, a year and a half later. In that time frame, every one of our married friends got pregnant and most of them had their babies. Some of our dear friends even had twins, a dream I have always had. When we did get pregnant, it was the opposite time frame of anything I would have planned. 

We gave our notice to our landlord and employers on May 1st and 2nd. On May 3rd I took a pregnancy test and thought my eyes were broken. It was positive. I took two more that day because I was in utter shock. There was no way we were pregnant when we had just given up all the security in our life. When Anthony got home from work that Friday night, I gave him a Baby Taylor guitar, the way I had planned to tell him for years. I told him I thought I was pregnant and he was elated. After taking a total of 5 tests, I started to think this could be real. On Mother's Day we told our families we were expecting. They were so happy for us, yet disappointed we would still be moving to North Carolina. 

I didn't write about expecting a baby here on my blog for fear that a potential employer would Google me and not hire me because I was pregnant. Now, I wish I had written about our great news when I first wanted to. I didn't get the career job (aka higher paying with benefits) I applied and interviewed for. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, maybe it's because they weren't what God had planned. I hope someday I'll know the answer to my questions. In October, Anthony interviewed for a job at a large hospital in the area. Two weeks ago, they called him and offered him the position. Next week that job will start. It isn't exactly what we had been hoping for, but it will pay our bills and maybe even afford us the opportunity to travel again. 

I've always been a planner and an organizer. With the end of my pregnancy rapidly approaching, those 2 characteristics are in hyper-mode. I have lists and lists for lists. My inlaws came for a visit the week before Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law, who I fondly refer to as Grandma Don (short for Donna), helped me decorate for Christmas. Our Christmas decorations are all ready in case the baby decides to come before December 25th. Until then, we have been fixing burned out lightbulbs, getting the car serviced and detailed, and preparing for our little boy in every way we can.

As the month of December begins and the beautiful, shocking story of Christmas is told, I can't help but relate with Mary. How stressful it must have been to be so close to having Jesus and travelling so far. We are in a predicament with insurance. The baby is due New Year's Eve, will he come in 2013 or 2014? If he comes this month, it means we'll get a tax write-off, if he comes next month...if, if, if. I wonder if that's how Mary felt when there was no room for them in someone's home? Friends have often said they look forward to seeing me as a parent. Could that be they want to see how this organized, needs-everything-planned-out, person will handle the biggest variable ever? 

This day I reflect on the beauty and incredible challenge uncertainty has had on my "plans". I'm learning to believe that God really does take care of me. He might only let me see how his provision is for this day only though. In the past 6 months, Anthony and I have relocated across the country, found out we were having a baby, quit our jobs, applied for hundreds of new jobs, interviewed and started new jobs, left our community, started a new community, changed churches, and experienced the shock of a new state. When I list all of the changes we have made, becoming parents doesn't seem that major. Today I'm reflecting on the growth that change brings. I've discovered with my rapidly expanding body, growth leaves marks and is often uncomfortable. But there is the promise of something new on the other side. 

Joining Emily for:

About California

We've lived in North Carolina for almost five months. At the end of September, we were able to fly back to Sacramento to visit family and friends and celebrate our baby with two baby showers!

A while back there was a prompt to write about California for 15 minutes on The Write Practice. We had lived in North Carolina for about 6 weeks when I wrote this: 


The Sunshine State, the 7th largest economy in the world, home of many liberal thinkers. Your beauty is renown. Some of the world's most beautiful coastlines, vineyards, trees, Home of the Happiest Place on Earth (aka Disneyland). Land of oranges, avocados, and everything in between. Where else can you go within one state and find deserts, oceans, lakes, snow, vineyards, forests, mountains, and plains? We cannot forget the beautiful bridge seen below!

photo credit: The Hubster

Plays, art, music and movies were made on your soil. You are home to many different nationalities and extremely varied cultures. So many songs have been written about or inspired by you. Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego. Each big city is so uniquely varied but calls you, dear California, home. Who can forget your golden, velvety poppy?

Interstate 5 runs through you, which may be the most boring freeway in the entire world. Some of the craziest people reside in your lands, yet the natives all know, there's something that connects us all, even though there's such diversity.

The food and coffee can hardly be replicated. Fresh, simple, delectable. So many reasons why people flock to you and choose to stay. Your people. Sometimes you love 'em, other times it's hard to. But there just something about a Californian.

What else can be said of this fair state? The way you attempt preserve the air is a little obsessive, but you're helping everyone breathe easier, through the smog. No one can forget your wildlife, especially the research done at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and various sanctuaries for creatures. 

To me, you'l hold a special place, one that others might not know until they've live there. 

There must be a reason why the Beach Boys once said "I wish they all could be California girls." My husband, Anthony, is lucky enough to have one and says he wouldn't want it any other way!

California, thanks for being yourself.

One more thing, GO GIANTS!!!

Remembering Papa

We've always called my Mom's Dad, Papa. He grew up in New Jersey with his parents, grandma, grandpa and aunt. In a house with 5 adults, he was the only child! That's a huge reason why, during the Great Depression, Papa was one of the very few kids that had braces on his teeth. He loved riding motorized things, especially Indian Motorcycles. Papa's dad owned a bicycle store and he loved helping in the shop. Papa got polio in his right arm which later prevented him from joining the military. This was a lifelong sadness for him because he loved the United States. He attended Colgate University and achievied a degree in Psychology.

He was a Republican through and through. But not just any old Republican, a Reagan Republican. In his den at my grandparents house, he had a huge poster of Ronald Reagan wearing a cowboy hat. He loved listening to Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio. I have many memories sitting in the backseat of Papa's yellow Volvo, VW Vanagon and pickup truck listening to El Rushbo. 

He retired from Liberty Mutual after 35+ years of working for them. He met my grandma at a company picnic and left a big impression on her by throwing her in to the pool. Little did he know, she didn't know how to swim. Amazingly, this was the beginning of their short dating and engagement. They got married February 19, 1949. This past February they celebrated 64 years of marriage.

It was Liberty Mutual that caused him, my grandma, mom, and her brothers to move from New Jersey to California back in the 60's. When my grandpa retired from Liberty Mutual he bought a convertible Volkswagen vanagon. He and my grandma spent a few weeks/months traveling to the East Coast to visit all of their relatives the summer he retired. When they got back home, he would take my sisters, brother and I camping, excursioning, and exploring in that vehicle. We fondly called it the Campening. 

Papa loved exploring nature and learning new things. He always loved medicine and I think if he could go back in time, he would have become a doctor. After he retired he logged more hours volunteering at Kaiser Permanente than any other volunteer in their history. Volunteering kept him thankful of his age and his health. He also loved music. He had many different guitars. My personal favorite was his Hawaiian guitar. He had a slide and would play it for us frequently. 

My siblings and I were picked up by Papa on Thursday mornings. We then spent the day doing schoolwork, eating lunch, and activities in the afternoon. Papa would take us on adventures. One time, we went in the Campening and he blindfolded us. He was teaching us about our taste buds. He had small bags of little treats and things to eat. Sour, sweet, savory, etc. He taught us about moss growing on the North side of trees. He taught us how to use a compass. He didn't want us to get lost if we were ever stranded in the wilderness. 

Papa and Grandma taught us about money too. They had a banking system called Coryell's Bank and Trust. It consisted of 4 ledgers with each of our names on the books and little banks they would put money in. We would earn money for chores or various projects they assigned. The point of these little banks was learning that money doesn't grow on trees. It was a fun way to learn about earning, saving and spending. 

Papa had three primary areas of the house that belonged to him. His den: where he always had a computer with games on it for us kids. His shed: where he had woodworking equipment and tools. His garden/the backyard: where he had a giant garden, fruit trees, and a big tree-swing. He was also in charge of the wood-burning stove and kept us SUPER toasty in the wintertime. 

I never saw Papa get mad at Grandma although he did raise his eyebrows at her many a time. He would try to help her make dinner, but she would always shoo him out of the kitchen. She would use his vegetables to make her salads and lemons to make lemon bars. Papa always had a garden outside in the backyard. The soil in that garden was premium quality. He would use cow manure and horse manure to ensure it was pristine. He had lemon and orange trees in the backyard too. I've never seen anyone with as many zucchinis, lemons, and oranges, as Papa. He loved garlic with his salad, but it would always give him gas. We were all ecstatic when a company invented Beano. 

When Grandma would let Papa in the kitchen, it was primarily for breakfast. He made the best eggs you've ever eaten. They introduced us to Taylor Ham, a very salty meat that is fried and served alongside pancakes, eggs, etc. The other tasty thing Papa would make is his spaghetti sauce. This sauce took all day and was full of meat and everything Italian. It is best with angel hair pasta. They also made the BEST cold cut sandwiches because they always bought fresh meat and cheese from the deli. 

Papa has always been one of the most generous people I've ever met. He would give you the shirt he was wearing if you were to tell him it was nice. He had a tendency to spoil us. He would try and sneak candy to us before dinner to hear Grandma yell at him that we better not spoil our supper. Papa was always supportive of any endeavour we would try. And not just verbally supportive, financially too. He and Grandma paid for the majority of all of our braces, helped my parents with extra-curricular activities, guitar lessons for me, piano lessons for Heidi (thank God for that or I would have never met Anthony), voice lessons for my sisters and me, and even helped pay for our college. I could hardly drive to their house without them trying and mostly succeeding at giving me money to help pay for gas. They would always treat our family to dinner whenever we would go out and get mad if my parents tried to pay. 

Papa and Grandma welcomed everyone in to their home. They had a prayer list that lasts for about 30 minutes when prayed all the way through, maybe more. Before we started dating, they had a soft spot for Anthony. I think it's because he and Papa shared a love of guitars. When I told them we were together, they were elated. Sadly, Anthony was with my sisters and cousin when we found out my Uncle Ray had died. At his memorial service, Anthony, Heidi and Heather all played and sang. I remember how much it meant to my grandparents, especially Papa, they had played for his service. At our wedding a few months later, Anthony and I honored them for being the longest married couple in attendance. And, it was only fitting that the true Patriot Papa was shone through. He wore a suit and his tie had the United States flag on it!

Seeing them age has been one of the hardest things about being an adult. When Papa fell a year ago, that began his health decline. There were times when I didn't want to see them age, so I would let more time go by in between visits. I then realized I would regret not seeing them. I loved visiting them because they would always encourage me in my faith. They would tell me about times they heard the voice of God and listened to his leading in their lives. It was sad when we told them we were moving to North Carolina, but they said that if God was telling us to go, we had to listen. They faithfully prayed for Anthony and I in whatever area we needed prayer. When we had trouble getting pregnant, our baby was prayed for daily by them. It was a huge answer to prayer when I told them we were expecting our first baby. 

On May 27th, the day we started our move to Raleigh, we stopped by their house and gave them hugs and kisses. When we visited Sacramento at the end of September we also saw them. We told them how life was in a new city, how the church was going and that Anthony was playing on the worship team. That made Papa very happy. He tried to give us a number of items in their home, but we said we couldn't fit them in our luggage. We also got to tell them what we're planning to name their great-grandson and they thought it was a strong name. When we left, I said, I love you and I'll see you soon. I hadn't expected that it wouldn't be so soon for me.

Papa passed away peacefully on October 19, 2013. He is in heaven rejoicing and playing his guitar with a host of other musician friends. He is in no pain, physically or emotionally. I rejoice that he is reunited with his two sons, Ray and Mark. And that someday we will join him.

I will always remember my loving, generous, compassionate, and caring, Papa. I wish he would have been able to meet our son. 

What to Say

What does one say when they've been missing in action for a few months on their blog? How do you start writing again? Is blogging worth the time and effort?

These are questions I've been thinking about a lot lately. I've contemplated how to start up blogging again after not writing for a while. My friend Jodi recently posted after a long time away. When I saw a new post in my blog feed, I was elated. I was glad to read how she had been doing. I asked her how she got back to writing. She said, I just did it. 

So, that's what I'm doing. Writing. Blogging.

We've been living in North Carolina a little over 4 months now. It has been much more of a drastic change than I ever expected. We moved here to help with a new church that began officially September 8th. We are grateful for the community of people at our church. They have embraced Anthony and me with open arms. It's incredibly strange we've known this community for a few months, yet the friendships are already formed. We are so grateful to have friends in a new city. 

Anthony and I got our own little condo/townhouse in the middle of August and are beginning to feel settled in. Before we left Sacramento, we sold the majority of our household furnishings. After we got our own place, we bought a couch from a manufacturer in High Point, North Carolina and that helped us feel much more at home! The best part about our house is the proximity to downtown Raleigh. We are about 5 minutes away and love being so close.

I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy and our baby moves constanly. We found out in August we're having a boy and he's growing every day. The way I know: my ever-expanding stomach! Anthony and I flew back to Sacramento two weekends ago and our families threw us lovely baby showers. We were so blown away by the generosity and support we felt from our family and friends. I've officially begun nesting. Remember all the blankets and items I made for my niece? I started the same thing for our baby! My current project: burp cloths. I have 18 flannel pieces and terry cloth towels pre-cut and ready to be sewn. 

We are both in the process of looking for jobs. We have found the job market in Raleigh to be more challenging to enter than we originally expected. We felt very strongly that we were supposed to move here and continue to feel that way. Your prayers for favor with employment are greatly appreciated. 

Both sides of our families are planning trips to see us and we are excited to show them around our new city!

I've really missed writing and blogging and the community I feel from you. How have you been?

Spoonflower - Durham, NC

Today, we visited the Spoonflower's headquarters in Durham, North Carolina (very conveniently located since we moved to the Raleigh-Durham area recently). Spoonflower prints custom fabric, wallpaper, decals, and gift-wrap. You can order prints in swatches, fat quaters, and as little or as many yards as you want. They have 10 different that they print your unique design on. Or if you don't want to create your own design, you can buy fabric that was designed by others.  

Katie, a new friend of ours, works at Spoonflower and gave us a grand tour. We started with the Greenhouse, where the public can take classes and employees use it as a studio space.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to take pictures inside the plant. Some of the fabric they print is unique and we didn't want to take a chance on infringing on their customer's copyrights. The fabric we saw being printed was vibrant and different than other material I've seen! There is a huge room of about 35 printing machines and each machine is given a name, such as Kirk, since they all have their own personality. One machine is better at printing cotton and one is better at twill, etc. 

Once the spool is finished, it goes to a heating room where it is sealed in machines that run around 300 degrees. From there, the fabric is checked for accuracy, cut and shipped to you! If fabric isn't completely accurate, they re-print the customer's order and send remnant fabric to a flooring company who recycles it to make floors. 

I really enjoyed seeing how Spoonflower creates unique fabric. The fabric is from the U.S.A. and is organic. If you want to visit Spoonflower, you can contact them here or take their virtual tour here.

We're here!

We left Sacramento on May 27th and drove across Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and finally arrived in North Carolina on Monday, June 3rd. We had a day of delays because of the tornadoes that were going through the Midwestern states. The last three days of our drive we drove close or over 600 miles! In total we drove close to 3,000 miles. 

Our friends are letting us stay in their townhouse in the Raleigh-Durham area while they are away for the summer. After getting in late on Monday night, we slept in and I made a run to Trader Joe's.

I've never spent as much as I did on that shopping trip, but I sure did get a lot of food.

Anthony and I sat down on Tuesday afternoon and wrote out our budget for the month. We visited a local credit union to fund our envelope system and headed to meet our South African friends for coffee. We came home Tuesday night and I made us carnitas tacos. We ended the day with a trip to Super Target where we bought necessities including a little coffeemaker for our house.

Wednesday I got to Facetime my sister and niece, Olivia. We sent her a postcard and here are the pictures my sister sent me of her reading/eating her card:

We made our way to our post office box in Raleigh and collected our mail. We stopped at Videri Chocolate Factory to drink coffee and see the workers in action. We spent some time writing and looking for jobs.

We moved to North Carolina (read the story) to help start a new church, which will be called Emmaus. We attended our first weekly BBQ/prayer night at a nearby park and had a great time meeting new friends. We also talked about a game that's required during a BBQ, Corn Hole. It's basically like a bean bag toss, but more complicated. 

Thursday we headed to the DMV to get our NC licenses. Anthony passed his test the first time, I did not have as great of success. We visited with our friends we met back in February from Abundant Life Church. We were introduced to North Carolina BBQ and a new food called Corn Puddin' that's a cross between creamed corn and cornbread, almost like Tomalitos from Chevy's. We drove home in a downpour of rain, the wipers were on full-speed and we could barely see out the windshield. Just running from the parking lot of our house to the inside, we both got soaked. As in, we had to change clothes and dry off our hair, we were that wet. Crazy. Apparently, there's a Tropical Storm headed our way, presumably to welcome us to North Carolina!

We woke up today and enjoyed coffee and oatmeal. Thinking it would be a humid day, I dressed in a tank top and capris, only to be surprised when we opened the front door and saw it was still raining. Using the wisdom we gained from yesterday, we grabbed our umbrellas and got to the car much drier. We headed back to the DMV where I passed my test and got my NC license too! We enjoyed another lunch with our friends at a local pizzeria. We're relaxing at home and about to go to Raleigh for a local coffee company's one year anniversary party. 

I've been shocked at how humid it is, but our friends are saying this is unusual due to the tropical storm. All I can say is, I'm glad to know my skin will be nice and moisturized. :-) We're still looking for jobs and getting settled. I'm incredibly grateful for the friends we met back in February who have given us the warmest welcome. And looking forward to getting to know the rest of the people who are in the process of moving from Portland too. 

Five Minute Friday: Brave

Back in October, I briefly mentioned Anthony and I had gone to Portland, Oregon. While we were there we happened to visit a church called the Solid Rock. The evening we attended that service, John Mark Comer, the Lead Pastor of Solid Rock, introduced Dominic Done, who was coming on staff as an embedded church planter to ultimately plant a new church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

They played a video where John Mark asked Dominic why he was planting in the Raleigh area and Dominic began to explain. At the end of the video, John Mark asked everyone to pray and consider selling everything they had and move to Raleigh to help start this new church.

Anthony and I both felt they were speaking to us. Actually, it was more than just them, it was the Holy Spirit. Something was stirred inside both of us, at that moment to consider the idea of a cross-country move. 

We began to research the Solid Rock, Dominic, the Raleigh area, and anything else we could find.

A few weeks after we came home in October, were were asked to visit Raleigh with the Lead Elder of our church, Capital City Church, Rick Martinez and his wife Kathy. "Coincidentally" they were asked to help with another church in the outskirts of Raleigh in February.

On that trip, we met so many great people from the area and made new friends. The city of Raleigh wasn't what we had pictured or somewhere we would choose to move. But moving there wasn't our idea to begin with so our preference doesn't matter that much.

As we flew away from Raleigh, I looked out the airplane window and began crying because I wasn't sure if we'd ever be back. The seed that began in October continued to grow.

These have been the most eventful months in witnessing firsthand the intervention and orchestration of God in our lives. This blog post would be SO MUCH longer if I were to add everything that has happened.

Two days ago, we did something pretty crazy. We turned in our resginations to our employers and landlord. On May 27, we will begin our move to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

I've never been more scared, yet felt so brave at the same time. 

This is why there have been so few posts lately on my blog. I look forward to sharing more of our story in the future!

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and whole bunch of other awesome people for Five Minute Friday. (I went a little over the time today)

Five Minute Friday: Home

The word home evokes many images and sayings. 

Two that I immediately thought of were: Home is where the heart is and Home Tweet Home. The second saying hung above Tweety-Bird's house and is a throwback to my cartoon days.

Home also brings to mind houses. As I thought about houses, they aren't always needed for some place to feel like home. This week I was travelling for work and in doing so, I was keenly aware of what home means to me.

Home means comfort and security. It represents love and a feeling of care. 

To me home doesn't mean the nicest house on the nicest street in the best area. It's a place that's familiar. 

Lately, the thought of home is simply complex. It's people and the person that most represents home to me is Anthony.

What is home for you?

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday, where one word is written about for 5 minutes.